The Souletin Verbal Complex
New Approaches to Basque Morphophonology
Ulrich J. Lüders
The study presents an analysis of the Souletin verbal complex. Souletin is one of the seven main dialects of Basque. It is spoken by about 11,000 people in SW France. Basque and its dialects are known for their complex verbal structure offering several thousands of synthetic verb or auxiliary forms. The integration of up to three participants, the tripartite graded honorific system, the great number of non-fact constructions and various root morphemes results in a highly polymorphous structure.
Chapter I: The process type model which is applied here consists of a semantic, a morphophonemic and a phonemic level and two types of transmission rules between them (morphophonological assignment rules between the first two levels, and phonological rules between the second and third level).
Chapter II: An overview of the phonemic system and the typology of the phonological rules, which are numerous in the Souletin dialect, is given. Two features determine the typology of these P-rules: prosody (e.g., the ü-harmony rule) and semantic conditioning.
Chapter III: In the first part of Ch. III the various morphological categories are discussed (actant markers; marker of semantic function; plural markers; roots of auxiliaries and synthetic verbs; causative, assertative and negative marker; tense marker; aspect marker; non-fact markers; subordinators). Two main conditions are responsible for a split of the verbal paradigm into two different systems of organisation: the semantic function of the actants and their speech-act participation (SAP). The first condition is valid for the ergative construction of paradigms as the present tense, the SAP condition structures the past tense paradigms and several non-fact paradigms with a strong resemblance to inverse languages. The second half of this chapter is dedicated to the listing of the various paradigms in dependence on tense and mood, the degree of politeness and transitivity.
ISBN 9783929075038. Linguistics Edition 02. 220pp. 1993.